A special court appointed under the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO) on Wednesday sentenced a 53-year-old priest from a church in Govandi to life imprisonment for repeatedly sodomizing a 13-year-old child. years of his parish in 2015.
Recently, the court had stepped up the charges against the man, who had been a priest for 15 years before his arrest, and added one that dealt with repeated sexual assault on a child while in charge of the hospital. ‘a school or religious establishment. It was on this charge that the man was sentenced to life imprisonment. Special Judge Seema Jadhav also fined the man Rs. 13,000 and recommended the District Legal Services Authority’s compensation case. He has been in custody at Arthur Road Prison since his arrest, his four bail requests made over the years denied.
Besides the victim’s testimony, another important witness who testified was a church musician in whom the man confessed his behavior, said lawyer Charmaine Bocarro who assisted prosecutor Veena Shelar. The prosecution interviewed a total of nine witnesses, Shelar said.
According to the police complaint filed by the boy’s father in November 2015, the family went to church three times a week near their home in Shivaji Nagar and the priest knew them well. The first incident of sexual assault in which the man sodomized his son was in August of the same year, according to his complaint, but his son did not reveal anything to them out of fear. The son, who was then studying in grade 7, fell ill and had to be admitted to two different hospitals for a few days each. The father had also noticed that his behavior had changed and he had started to look scared and was silent. On November 27, the family insisted that he accompany them to church and he was gone. That day, according to the father’s complaint, the priest asked his son and another younger son to wait until after a program to remove the decorations used there. They had waited, then he sent the youngest son and asked the 13-year-old to bring a box to his office.
He then followed the child to his office where he sexually assaulted him by threatening him as he protested. The father said he noticed his son was bored and when he got home. He was also found to have a temperature. He then revealed his ordeal to his mother when she took him in confidence and they approached the police.
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Posted on: Thursday December 30th, 2021 07:05 IST